After 16 months in our tiny guesthouse, we’ve gotten used to it. But as the house project nears completion, the small things are becoming a bit more grating.
Category Archive: Building Flattop
Preparing Drywall for Paint 🧹🧽
Before the house could be painted, the dust from level 5 drywall had to be removed and it was a much bigger challenge that I expected and it put a strain on our relationship.
Masking and Painting The House 🎨
We are doing the painting on the house project, which ended up being a much bigger job than I expected.
The Impossible Skyscraper in the Guesthouse 🏢 🛋
The pile of boxes we have stacked in the guesthouse represent a lot of decisions about the house project.
Designing Our Blackened-Steel Fireplace 🔥
Our fireplaces are the heart of our house and an element we took great care to design.
Shou Sugi Ban Siding – Fortified by Fire 🔥
The siding for our house is Japanese cypress that has been charred to make it more resilient and beautiful. It’s called “Shou Sugi Ban” or “yakisugi”.
What to Consider Before Drywall is Installed 🤔 🏡
Once the drywall goes up, a lot of decisions become harder to change. We tried our best to think ahead and avoid any changes.
Rolling Out Our Metal Roof 🏡
Our house was designed to have a metal standing seam roof and I was not clear about how, exactly, the roof panels would be delivered and applied. It turns out they are formed on-site.
What is a Rain Screen for a House?
Before siding was applied, our house was striped with wooden supports. These are there to create a rain screen that’s designed not to trap moisture.
Cedar, Big Enough, and Boats 🌲📔🚤
A snapshot of summer 2020 when we were staining cedar for the house, preparing to publish a book, and spending a lot of time on the Salish Sea.
The Search for Smart House Siding
If you picture a Japanese village in your mind, you’re likely to imagine buildings with a dark brown or black appearance, with a lot of character. This appearance, comes, in part, from an ancient Japanese method of charring wood to make it more resilient. The final product is called “yakisugi” or “shou sugi ban”. The Japanese found that charring the wood gave a unique character made it last longer.
Powering a Smart Home with Batteries
When we started planning our house on Orcas Island, people often asked about our plans for a generator assuming we’d need one. For a while, we had the same assumption.
The House Project: Flattop on Orcas Island
In the spring of 2017, Sachi and I became consumed with an idea. On a camping trip to Orcas Island, which is off the NW coast of Washington State, we started to ask serious questions about the future. While drinking wine from a box by a campfire, we first started to...
Sweat Equity and the House Construction Project 💦🏡
We’ve taken on a number of projects in the house construction project. Along with a lot of planning, we are the painters and cleaners. These help save money, help us learn and make us a part of the team.
City Life Versus Island Life 🗑♻️
Moving from Seattle to an island was a shock for a lot of reasons. One of the most interesting was learning to be more self-sufficient than we ever have.
The Pandemic’s Impact on Home Construction and Book Publishing 📚📐
When the pandemic hit in 2020, we had to reevaluate two of the biggest projects of our lives. This is how it felt at the time.
WHOOOOSH and the Whales 🦌🌲🐋
A walk to our construction site ends in seeing orca whales in the water in front of the house.
Home as a Platform 🏡
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. I had anticipated this moment for over a year. For the first time, I stepped foot onto the newly laid subfloor of our house. I realize this might not sound like a revelation and in reality, I had...
Ready for Rain Year in Review 🗓
Ready for Rain at one year. A review of the events in 2019, as shared in the newsletter.
Why Home Construction Takes So Much Time ⏳
Home construction is a project that takes significant time and it’s not always clear why. It can be painful and frustrating, but it’s often necessary for quality. This is our experience.